Okay, I admit it, I left my weekend post up a bit longer than usual so I could bask in the glory of my first public reading of my work.
I don't get many opportunities like this, so forgive me for enjoying it just this once. :-)
Actually I think adrenaline was as much responsible for getting me through the event, as was the advice from fellow writers.
But one person I really do want to thank, for all she taught me about reading aloud, putting expression into my voice and standing in front of a crowd and performing, is/was my English teacher, Mrs Brant, from my days in Hillview Secondary School for Girls in Tonbridge- in the 1970's.
She not only ran the after school drama club, but was the writer of the annual school productions that Year 10 and 11 pupils took part in. Mrs Brant and other staff members and pupils made the costumes, did the music, stage backdrops and make-up.
It gave me so much confidence that is still with me today.
As one of the taller girls in my year, and with short hair, I always got the part of a male- one year I played Sir Thomas Boleyn (father of the future Queen Anne Boleyn), and the next year, Mr Brocklehurst in Jane Eyre- the clothes really do help to get into the mindset of a Victorian man, that and the long side whiskers...
Somewhere, lurking among the numerous photos I have, is a picture of me in my Sir Thomas costume. We did a fashion parade for the whole school (the day after the play's final public performance) and photos were taken of us in character.
If I find it, I'll see if I can scan it into my computer...
So thank you Mrs Brant- wherever you are now.